There are quite a number of Irish films showing at this year’s festival so how do you know which ones to see? The answer is you don’t! That is the wonderful thing about film festivals, the film you are most looking forward to can be a let down, and a film you have very little expectation from can surprise and delight you. This is the wondrous thing about cinema and the main reason I am obsessed with it. With this in mind here are the Irish films I will be seeing at this year’s festival. You can expect full reviews of these films soon (not sure when, as I am attending 17 films at the festival this year!).
- The Good Man
Starring The Wire’s own Tommy Carcetti, Aidan Gillen stars as Michael, a banker (boo!) whose life begins to unravel after an accident. It is the unexpected collision with another mans life, Sifoso, in Cape Town that will ultimately be his reckoning. There is the possibility that this film will descend into cliché but I am optimistic that we will get something here that will say something about ourselves and the world in general.
Screening: 16th February 4pm Cineworld 11
- Where I Am
This documentary tells the story of Robert Drake, an American writer who was viciously assaulted and left for dead by two men in Sligo in 1999. Left permanently brain damaged and unable to walk, Drake was painted as a predatory gay man at the trial of his assailants. The documentary follows Drake as he returns to Ireland over a decade later. This is a story I knew very little about and it is a film I am really looking forward to seeing.
Screening: 16th February 6.45pm Lighthouse 1
- Broken Song
This unlikely documentary follows three Dublin men, Git, Costello and Willa Lee who see themselves as street poets, hip hop artists and songwriters. This film raises the intriguing question: namely can we see past people’s roots and upbringing and see what is inside? As a working class northsider myself I am fascinated by my own response to the question. We may have a Pyjama Girls for young men on our hands here.
Screening: 19th February 6.10pm IFI 1
‘Jump follows the lives of four twenty-somethings whose lives collide one fateful New Year's Eve amidst the ancient walls of Derry, Northern Ireland in a night of fast talk, accidents and intrigue.’ To be honest this is the kind of all too familiar description that makes me nervous going to see some Irish films. But should it have more than the description suggests we could have a real winner on our hands.
Screening: 19th February 9pm Lighthouse 1
This is the story of 10 year old Milo who is unaware that he suffers from a rare genetic disease. His parents keep him under strict control but invariably real life gets in the way. This Irish/Dutch co-production could be a small gem but the real worry is if the script is strong enough to sustain a feature as the story seems quite slight. I hope to be pleasantly surprised.
Screening: 23rd February 3:45pm Cineworld 11
- The Moth Diaries
I do not even know where to begin with this one. An IFB co-funded horror film from the director of American Psycho should really sell itself but bad reviews seem to have sunk its chances. I will approach it with an open mind as I am a fan of the director and of its Irish star Sarah Bolger but this one worries me the most.
Screening: 23rd February 6pm Cineworld 8
One to note: Natan
Irish filmmaker Paul Duane’s Natan, about a French film pioneer largely forgotten should certainly be a must see for people who are interested in film history (I will be there). I was a big fan of his film Barbaric Genius and although this is a film not set in or about Ireland it is directed by a fine Irish filmmaker.
Screening: 15th February 6.10pm IFI 1
One to avoid: The Hardy Bucks Movie
Now I know I said that you should keep an open mind but this is a film I would sell a kidney to avoid. It sold out quite quickly so I could not see it anyway but not being a fan of the show or the trailer for the film, I am fine with missing out. Using the classic TV show trope of sending the cast on holiday (Euro 2012 here) this one seems destined to be awful. But who knows, maybe it will ‘buck’ the trend (see what I did there). Knowing what I know about cinema then, I expect this to be a huge box office success.
Screening: 18th February 8.15pm Lighthouse 1
Honourable mentions for films I won't see at the festival but have heard good things about are The Summit and Black Ice. I am sure i will see these two in the future.
If you would like to purchase tickets for these films or any others here is the link: http://www.jdiff.com/index.php/guide/guide/buying_tickets
So these are the films I will be seeing. Have you got some other Irish films you will be seeing? Let me know below.